Free Trade and Cultural Diversity in International Law

By Jingxia Shi

This book reconciles the concept of free trade with a key non-trade social value - cultural diversity - in an era of economic globalization. It first shows how we can look at culture in many different ways and explains why we should care about cultural diversity. The book then examines the challenges that policymakers are faced with in formulating cultural measures in the new media environment and analyzes UNESCO's theories and approaches to cultural diversity. This is followed by a comprehensive examination of the treatment of 'culture' in global and regional trade agreements, including the framework of the GATT/WTO system, the WTO's judicial practice involving cultural products, and the treatment of culture under the EC/EU and NAFTA. This identifies the challenges that trade norms encounter in dealing with cultural products. The book formulates a balanced view of the challenge of protecting and promoting cultural diversity while also recognizing the important goal of trade liberalization. To this end, it proposes a dual method through which the norms found in WTO agreements and in UNESCO cultural instruments may be brought into alignment: the first highlighting the compatibility of cultural policy measures with trade obligations on a domestic level, and the second suggesting potential linkages between the WTO rules and the UNESCO Convention from the perspectives of treaty interpretation. (Series: Studies in International Trade Law -Vol. 14)


360 pages

Publication Date: 4/30/2013
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9781849464253